It is my opinion that the single-best male performance of last year belongs to Christoph Waltz, the disarmingly evil Nazi "Jew Hunter" in Quentin Tarantino's World War II-set fairy tale, "Inglourious Basterds." Some credit goes to the filmmaking of course, but Waltz delivers an unforgettable performance as one of the great villains of our time, a man who is at once thoroughly likable and unapologetically ruthless.
Late last month we reported that "Twilight" star Robert Pattinson was up for a starring role in an upcoming adaptation of Sara Gruen's best-selling novel "Water for Elephants." He was later confirmed, along with fellow star Reese Witherspoon. Now there's news that Waltz will possibly join the growing cast... as the villain!
Waltz will play "a dangerous paranoid schizophrenic animal trainer who is as mean to his wife as he is to the circus creatures," Deadline Hollywood reports. As was previously revealed at the same time as the RPattz news, Sean Penn was previously in the running for the role. That deal "went south," which is good news for "Basterds" fans. Waltz is a dynamite performer and his involvement in anything is enough to get me out to the theater.
The deal isn't finalized yet, but here's hoping it will be soon. And even if it falls through, Waltz fans can take heart in the fact that he'll be doing his evil thing on big screens again soon. He'll play the Big Bad in "The Green Hornet," which hits theaters in December.
Were you familiar with Waltz prior to "Basterds"? Those who are familiar with Gruen's book: is this a good role for him?